*Photo by Mikaela Pearman
*Photo by Mikaela Pearman

The NatWest Island Games ended with a bang last night as fireworks filled the sky at the National Sports Centre.

The closing ceremonies started after the last medals were handed out for the half-marathon at 9:30pm.

It was attended by Premier Craig Cannonier, Governor George Fergusson and Cabinet members including Wayne Scott, Sylvan Richards and Patricia Gordon-Pamplin.

It began with the parade of flags and athletes. Instead of coming into the stadium with their countries, the athletes were divided up by sport.

A large Bermuda flag was carried and waved by more than a dozen Bermuda athletes.

Joining the parade were the officials for the games and a large contingent of volunteers.

The crowd and athletes danced to the various party tunes played by the DJ including ‘Gangnam Style’.

Hundreds of athletes filed onto the field and faced the stage, which was at the north end.

Jon Beard, Island Games Chairman said: “Last week, I welcomed our island friends to Bermuda and I told them we had invited you.

“They are our guests and we would show them the real Bermuda, the Bermuda that truly cares and knows how to look after people.

“To that, people of Bermuda, a huge thank you. You have been superb hosts.

“To our Island Games family, thank you. You have been terrific company.”

He continued: “You have long journeys home but know that you have made a truly positive impact on all of us.

“We look forward to seeing you in Jersey.

“God speed and have a safe journey.”

Jorgen Petterson, Chairman of the International Island Games Association also thanked Bermuda for hosting the games.

“To the people of Bermuda, you have made it all great. You have made us all stronger.

“You have made us all better.

“We came as islanders. We leave as friends.”

He continued: “You worked together as a team to make this happen, thanks to the dedication and bravery.

“Thank you Bermuda for letting us share that reality.”

After the speeches, ‘Proud to be Bermuda’ blared in the background as fireworks lit up the sky.

Warwick Gombeys then danced onto the field to lead the attendees down to North Field to party.

The 16th NatWest Island Games will be held in Jersey.